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Hammerpuzzle theatre company brings drama to Gloucestershire

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Monday, 17th December 2018, 09:10

'The Old Curiosity Shop'. Photo: Camilla Adams Photography 'The Old Curiosity Shop'. Photo: Camilla Adams Photography

Founded in 2007 by a group of graduates from Bath Spa University, Hammerpuzzle is a theatre company with a passion for re-imagining classic stories in a fun and engaging way for audiences of all ages.

“Our ethos is that we take a piece of classic literature, or a well-known play, and smash it apart with a hammer,” said Lizzy Cummings, company director, “and then we piece it back together in our own way like a puzzle.”

Originating in Bath, the company has also been based in Bristol, and now bring shows to theatres throughout the South West, with an especially good relationship with Gloucestershire.

Bryn Holding, associate director at Hammerpuzzle explains how a close link with the Everyman Theatre came to be.

He said: “We were on tour performing ‘King John’ and after our show with the Everyman they approached us to co-produce a show and we put forward ‘The Woodlanders’.

“After this we were invited to co-produce again with The Everyman for Christmas 2017. We created two productions – ‘The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen’ and ‘A Gloucestershire Midwinter’, which was a sort of melee of stories and songs from writers and poets in Gloucestershire.”

Since then, Gloucestershire has been a favourite destination for Hammerpuzzle. This festive period, the company has produced two shows – the Dickensian classic ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ and the beloved children’s story ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’.

Both shows enjoyed successful spells throughout December at the Everyman, selling out before opening, and both will now visit the Kings Theatre in Gloucester and the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury.

“It’s our first time at the Roses,” said Lizzy, “we’re really excited to be bringing these stories to new audiences.

“The Old Curiosity Shop’ is a classic story and we’ll be bringing it to life with our signature style of original music and song, alongside condensing the story down to what we are particularly drawn to.”

Bryn added: “The Velveteen Rabbit’ is all about a child’s imagination bringing toys to life.

“As the story unfolds there’s an underlying theme in there about loss, grief, and moving on from hard moments that we think is important for younger children to understand. But it’s all done in a fun and interactive way.”

Even though 2019 has barely begun, Lizzy, Bryn and the rest of the Hammerpuzzle team have already started thinking about what comes next.

“We’ve got plenty of plans and ideas in our heads,” Lizzy added, “but I think we should probably get these shows out of the way before we start the next project!”

‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ is at The Kings Theatre, Gloucester on Friday 11th January and Saturday 12th January, and the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury on Friday 18th January and Saturday 19th January.

‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ is at The Kings Theatre on Saturday 12th January, and the Roses Theatre on Friday 18th January and Saturday 19th January.

For more information visit www.hammerpuzzle.co.uk

Other Images

'The Velveteen Rabbit'. Photo: Camilla Adams Photography

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